At the surgical center where I work we often get patients who do not speak English. Because patients have to bring someone to drive them afterwards anyways, they logically bring a friend or family member who can interpret for them. The other day at work there were two patients, a husband and wife, who brought with them their son to be their interpreter. The pre-op nurse spoke to them first. Next the anesthesiologist had a conversation with them. I heard the son’s responses and they sounded like this: “Yeah, yes.” And after the next question: “Uh – no, no.” And then more yes’s and more no’s. And then when other medical staff asked more questions, he kept up with head nods and shakes and even more yes’s and no’s.
It was obvious he had no clue what we were talking about.
It really bugs me when people don’t listen! Now, this family had an excuse because there was a language barrier but – Hello??? – Why bring an interpreter who can’t interpret? He could hear us, but how could he listen when he could not understand?
Matthew 13:13 This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
Have you ever been in the position where you are speaking to someone and you just know that they aren’t listening? They may be standing there hearing you – but they aren’t L I S T E N I N G. If your listener is not making eye contact, is checking their phone, or they are just nodding and smiling then they are most likely not listening. If you ask them a question about what you just spoke about they will probably answer inappropriately and later will not even remember the conversation. One time many years ago I had an old acquaintance stop me in the hall at church to speak to me. She spoke non-stop for about five minutes and then said “Bye” and was on her way. I didn’t get in one word. I think she liked to listen to her own voice.
Isaiah 42:20 You have seen many things, but you pay no attention; your ears are open, but you do not listen.
Through the years I have tried to become a better listener. In fact, I enjoy keeping quiet in places with lots of people while keeping my ears wide open. I learn a lot. Many times at work I keep my radar ears open as the techs talk to the patients and I hear questions and needs that I can address without even asking.
God wants us to listen to Him. Oh yes, He speaks to us. If I ask for direction before I open the Bible, I am many times rewarded with just the right story; just the right verse. I hear and see God in the magnificence of nature. I hear Him speak to me in songs and hymns. He may be shouting at you right now. Would you slow down and listen? He may even be whispering because he wants you to pay very close attention.
Psalm 92:6 Senseless people do not know, fools do not understand.
One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.
Bryant H. McGill
I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.